By Sir E. A. Wallis Budge
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Extra resources for Amulets and Talismans
SELIGMANN (Heil und Schutzmittel, Stuttgart, rgzo, p. e. a " means of defence," and this derivation seems to me to be the best of those which have been suggested. We shall never know exactly what meaning was attached to the word " amulet " by its inventor, or by those who first used one, or even by PLINY, but clearly it was different from the meaning which we attach to it to-day. To us an " amulet " is an object which is endowed with magical powers, and which of its own accord uses these powers ceaselessly on be half of the person who carries it, or causes it to be laid up in his house, or attaches it to some one of his possessions, to protect him and his belongings from the attacks of evil spirits or from the Evil Eye.
G. the marbles and the agates, or containing pyrites, or having striae in them, were promptly taken possession of by him, and carried home. A stone which had become perforated naturally was especially prized by him, and to the first man who thr<'aded such a stone on grass, or on a thong cut from the skin of some animal, and then hung it round his neck, belongs the credit of having intro duced the wearing of amulets into the world. The perforated stone suggested to him the boring of other stones which he used as amulets, and which he could then hang on his body, and next the per foration of the beads which his women up to that time had attached to their bosoms by means of mud.
Mr. J. D. Rockefeller, a Non conformist, has for years carried in his pocket an " eagle stone " in a hollow in which there are con cretions which rattle when the stone is shaken. , p. ro) . The late Prof. W. Wright, of Cambridge, a very hard-headed Scotsman, wore by day and night a gold ring from Loango on which were worked in wire the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac . He used to say that he could never work unless he had it on his finger. A colleague at Cambridge being worsted in an official dispute with him, cursed him by the ineffable Name of God , and Wright believed that the fatal disease which attacked him was due to this curse.